An Aberdeen man has admitted abusing and threatening his estranged wife and removing over £160,000 from the couple’s joint bank account.
Jason Topley, who has been married to his victim for 18 years, admitted verbally abusing her and attempting to control her.
The 53-year-old also pleaded guilty at Aberdeen Sheriff Court to driving a motor vehicle in a dangerous manner that was likely to cause fear or alarm.
The couple, who have been separated since 2015, ran several north-east businesses together – three of which have now dissolved.
Procurator Fiscal Susan Love said Topley had also removed £165,000 from the couple’s joint account in late-2019 in an attempt to further “control” his wife.
However, Topley’s solicitor, Graham Morrison, said his client had moved the money to another account once he had noticed his wife removing large sums of money from it.
He said: “In October Mr Topley had a heart attack and had an insurance policy covered for that event.
“They got a total pay-out of £207,000.
“He paid it into the joint account, but over the next six months he noticed his wife was easing money out of that account.
“He immediately withdrew the money and put it in a separate account – and that’s what has brought us here today.”
Mr Morrison added that the death of the couple’s four year old daughter in 2005 had “put a lot of strain on the relationship”.
Ms Love said that on November 20, 2019, Topley had verbally reprimanded his wife in a threatening manner for not cleaning one of the properties they owned together and of driving off and leaving her there.
Mrs Topley later told police this was “evidence of his control over her as she was dependent on him at this point”.
The court heard he did return to pick her up a short time later.
During an incident on January 9, Ms Love said another argument ensued in which Topely “belittled, mocked and lectured” her in raised tones – causing his wife to become “petrified”.
Topley, of Northfield Drive in Aberdeen, was also said to have disconnected the phone line to her home without advanced warning and often turned up unannounced at their former marital home intentionally in order to show his “control”.
Sheriff MacLeod described the treatment meted out by Mr Topley towards his wife as “a campaign of belittling, mocking abuse and threats”.
He deferred sentence for a social work report and continued Topley’s bail conditions.